Education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Educational options, particularly homeschooling, allow families to customize education to fit each child’s individual needs.
As part of our occasional Family Profile series, we asked New Hampshire home-educating families to share their success stories with us. We set no parameters or guidelines. What we received is nothing short of marvelous. We are truly thankful for these beautiful testimonies of what homeschooling means to these families and their children.
My oldest son learned at home from seventh grade through high school. After high school, he served in the Army and then worked several different kinds of jobs. He attended UNH Manchester with the help of the GI Bill. He graduated this past May with a degree in Computer Information Systems and is working full time in his field. My oldest daughter (homeschooled her entire life) loved drawing and everything anime/manga. This led to her taking four years of Japanese and going on a summer-long exchange in Japan. She decided to go for a BFA at Montserrat College of Art. She will graduate this May as an Illustrator with a Creative Writing minor. (She is dyslexic.) She is one of their top students and completed a prestigious internship at FableVision in Boson this past summer. My youngest daughter, homeschooled her entire life, has many different interests and passions. From ages 13 to 18, she participated in a FIRST Robotics team. Three of those years she was elected to serve as Team Lead. One of those years they made it to Worlds. She studied at Nashua Community College during high school and had seven college classes to transfer by the end. She earned one of the top academic scholarships to UNH Manchester. My youngest son is dyslexic. Reading and writing are very difficult for him, but he keeps on trying. This year he is actually reading for pleasure and finished the first book in the Warriors series. He is a competitive gymnast, practicing 24 hours per week. He was very proud to make level 7 this year! ~Adrienne
My son, now 14 and technically 9th grade, had been in public school until the very beginning of 8th grade. We started a hodgepodge of VLACS, a homeschool enrichment program, and discussing independent research. He went to the DARTMUN Model UN conference, which is for high school students, last academic year. Only five students per committee win an award. He won one, the verbal commendation! This is the same boy who couldn’t write a proper sentence on his own just six months prior. ~Concetta
My son is in kindergarten, and he loves math. He counts, he adds, he subtracts, and he is starting to multiply. By homeschooling, he will never hear the dreaded words I heard all throughout my own schooling: “You aren’t ready for that yet, it is too hard.” ~Erica
I am 9 years old and feel lucky to be homeschooled. I learn my own way and my parents help me to do that. I learn all the things I should, plus a whole lot of other things too, that really interest me. I get to spend lots of time on my favorite things, like reading, history and art. ~Killian
My oldest is interested in video games, as most tweens are, but instead of only consuming games, he is learning to make them. Having the ability to pursue his own passions on his own timeline means that he really takes ownership of his projects and feels a great sense of accomplishment and pride. My youngest is interested in animals. Instead of just reading about them, we can visit farms and zoos. We spent months planning to become small-scale chicken farmers. Watching YouTube videos, sketching out blueprints for the coop, making price lists for the materials – it was all learning, but in an organic way that traditional schooling just can’t offer. I guarantee that during his pursuit of owning chickens, he learned and retained so much more than a hypothetical lesson could ever offer. ~Jessica
The most fascinating part of homeschooling is witnessing my children learn in the ways that are meaningful to them. My older son is an auditory and tactile learner, whereas my younger son seems to be more of a kinesthetic and visual learner. They both enjoy participating in a wide range of activities, but each boy will take away different information from each pursuit. This is why homeschooling works so well for my family. It allows us the freedom to engage in a diverse variety of projects and to enjoy the act of learning while catering to the independent needs of each child. The most wonderful part of my job as a homeschooling mom is being surprised, nearly every single day, when my sons demonstrate knowledge far surpassing any of my intended lessons. ~Sarah
My son is on the autism spectrum. He wasn’t getting what was needed from the school setting. He is doing much better being at home and getting the one-to-one help that he needs and the slower pace. This also has controlled some behavioral issues we were having and helped with his anxiety. ~Tracie-Ann
I have been home with my son for 4 years, almost 5. We are on our 3rd “pre-school” and my dear friend and I have decided to pull the kids out and go the homeschooling route. My son is bored in the public pre-school. At 4 he is already ready to begin racing motocross, has been working on job sites working hands-on with carpenters, machine operators, and concrete crews. I am so excited to get started as a homeschool mom. ~Michele
We’ve homeschooled our now-five-year-old daughter since she was born. She has always been bright, curious, creative, imaginative, resourceful, and a quick learner. Thus, she thrives on homeschooling because it allows her to very organically learn a breadth and depth of subjects. Homeschooling permits us to incorporate learning into daily life and to use a combination of learning materials, hands-on experiences and play; thereby making her learning highly effective, extremely efficient and primarily fun. Consequently, our daughter is learning an extensive array of academic subjects, artistic and athletic disciplines and life skills. She’s learning reading, writing, math (her favorite academic subject), science (including her favorite scientific subject, anatomy), geography, history, civics, economics, financial management, French, arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, sewing, carpentry, guitar, piano, singing, ballet, jazz dance, gymnastics, and softball. Additionally, she’s learning soft skills because homeschooling gives us the flexibility to easily interweave opportunities to learn and practice responsibility, integrity, critical-thinking, flexibility, and teamwork. Here are a couple of specific examples of homeschool success for our family: Since homeschooling allowed us to immediately pursue our daughter’s early fascination with letters and words, she’s been writing since she was two and began reading when she was three. This year, she read over 35 books for two library summer reading programs and won multiple prizes in the programs. Additionally, she has an immense vocabulary and a very sophisticated manner of expression, something upon which people regularly remark. Plus, our daughter is not just bright and creative. She’s happy, sweet, generous, charming, funny, strong, and confident. Naturally, we see it every day. Yet, others regularly comment on it as well, and she makes people smile wherever we go. Homeschooling allows our daughter to flourish both academically and emotionally! ~Catherine